I worried that celebrities would struggle with this pandemic, and they have proven my worst fears in stupendous ways. What’s made it worse is that the once in a century medical crisis has given way to the worst economic crisis since The Great Depression. And yeah, there is the race war going on.
You would think celebrities would think to not make themselves targets amid so many crises in which many people – and if you’re Black, our people – are hurting the most. But that would be too much like right. Instead, we’ve gotten fail after fail.
For example, we had T.I. referring to the city of Atlanta as “Wakanda” as if you can quell righteous indignation about police brutality among other injustices by pretending we land in the land of Marvel. Then there have been the Black folks like Love & Hip Hop Atlanta star Shekinah literally shedding tears over the Gucci store, hollering that Gucci hasn’t done anything to the Black community when not even Gucci would make such a foolish claim. Yes, I know she has since claimed she wasn’t crying over the Gucci store, but I saw the clip for myself. Next case.
That said, while many of these instances can be dismissed as goofy, naive, and embarrassing, there is something to be said about taking a movement centered on the end of state-sanctioned violence against Black people of all ages.
Now, I don’t want to sound like I am piling on Linneathia. I watched The Real Housewives of Atlanta reunion, and yes, I do believe they were piling on Nene a bit. However, right is wrong and wrong is wrong, and Nene Leakes is damn wrong for having the audacity to tie her booking info to a hashtag that calls for the end of law enforcement murdering Black people.
It doesn’t help that before this tacky, vile display of selfishness was preceded by another instance of her comparing her professional struggles to a collective plight. I find Nene Leakes hilarious and based on what she’s said and what I’ve read, justified in much of her anger towards select entities and individuals.
However, to tie one’s personal problem to an issue like Black Lives Matter is exploitative and disgusting.
No matter how big any of us feels our issues are, don’t directly compare them to what Black Lives Matter is about. I can’t believe I have to write this, but given the state of the United States against the coronavirus with that of comparable nations, I guess this type of mindset is to be expected. And to assuage any concern that I am signaling Nene out, I have seen others be no less tacky than her.
One can be glad that the conversation about racial injustice in America has spurred a broader conversation about how racism impacts in our personal and professional lives, but again, do not align one’s individualistic plight with the BLM movement. You know, unless it actually pertains to the movement itself. Do not compare your petty by comparison problems to such an issue — certainly not at a moment right now when real change feels not only possible but on the horizon. That is so small.
It’s even worse when someone tries to do this for a profit.
I hope Nene Leakes get whatever she is owed if proven so, but hopefully, someone near and dear to her will tug at better senses and tell her to never, ever be that disgusting again. As for the rest of the famous folks out there, please watch you do and say. If all else fails, you can be quiet and dare to read before speaking out.